πŸ“» β€” Jack Conte: 5 Important Creator and Community Trends for 2021

Reading Time: ~ 5 min.

Good morning yeniverse!

I’ve got a short but action-packed issue for today! I’ve got a few useful notes via the Founder / CEO of Patreon and a quick video he shared late-last year! But, before that, here are some decent links for you to share arou

  1. A building community design labs. Find gamers, meet friends.
  2. Omni podcasting software what.
  3. Get paid to do what you love. Track mentions of your website.
  4. Community struggles are real. Tweetpik. Personal branding, shopify.
  5. Product management for engineers. Sneaker drops. Social capital.
  6. Growing up is hard (in front of others). How we communicate matters.
  7. And I got my first-ever un-invitation to a community. Odd.

Have a great one folks! To infinity & community,

β€” john


Jack is an exciting CEO / Founder who knows what it’s like to be a creator which is especially important given his company’s mission @ Patreon: Help creators make more money via their creations.

A recent, high-level video recapping the 2020 trends that he saw throughout the creator-verse are positive and encouraging reminders for all of us! I wanted to share those highlights you, my wonderful readers, this morning:

The first trend that Jack shares is a massive rise of new creators who are experimenting more with newer technologies. Namely the podcasting and video types of format.

In fact, Jack shares that those who do both might see some outsized-returns with this type of investment. 66% and 70% growth on the Patreon platform for each one, respectively, but they saw a 112% growth in folks who decided to use both as a means of communication / monetization.

The takeways here are obvious and instructive:

  1. Experiment with more technology (platforms)! If you haven’t tried video or audio then you should consider adding them as communication tools and/or strategies for your creator / community-centric business.
  2. If you can find a way to combine both mediums without breaking the bank, existing workflows, or distracting you from your primary goals then it’s worth exploring in greater detail.

I’ve personally experimenting with video for the past few years and although I’m taking a much-needed break you can bet that I’m bringing it back later this year!

The next trend is one that’s not really a trend insomuch as it’s a long-lasting, time-tested, “best practice” for growing a new project on the internet: Collaborations.

Let’s just keep this section short, shall we? Collaborations work. Period. That’s all you need to know. And what you need to do is find ways to do that this year! Collaborations aren’t hard and they don’t have to be a complicated or complex business proposition; it’s simply building stuff with other creators.

This could be as simple as a video / podcast audio interview or it could be as sophisticated as what Jack shared that he did last year between different musical bands, creators, and respective community / YouTube channels.

The sky is really the limit.

Jack shares one piece of data that highlights that their own platform saw big growth during the times where “collabs” were also the highest:

If you’re not partnering with other projects, communities, and/or businesses this year then you’re missing some obvious and profitable growth strategies (at your own peril and risk)!

The next trend is one of the more important ones because it’s a powerful reminder that loving on your community is the most important job of any creator and that the downstream consequences of serving them well is long-lasting loyalty and financial support.

In other words, loyal fans stay loyal longer and end-up delivering more financial support and value over the long-haul.

Here’s the point: Finding your own “OG Patrons” or your “true believers” is one of the more important sequences that you have to work through in the very beginning of a new project and skipping this step isn’t something you should passively consider!

As Simon Sinek shares:

The goal is not to surround yourself with everybody who needs what you have; the goal is to surround yourself with people who believe what you believe.

And if you can do this then you’ll have a foundation that can last you a very, very long time. Jack shares it simply:

Keep those relationships strong!

The next trend that Jack shares is something that I’ve seen as well in the growing creator universe β€” it’s this insecurity that that the “Creator Economy” is getting over-saturated and that there is going to be a drop in demand that’ll swamp everyone.

Wrong.

Although Jack brings a bit more data (via his own platform) to the mix, I can tell you from personal experience building stuff on the internet that folks (and the larger industry) have been talking about the “death” of this space for years! Ignore those folks as they never took the time to learn the truth.

The internet was designed for builders, creators, and entrepreneurs! Thus none of us are ever going away and the economy is only going to get stronger still. The best years are ahead of all of us.

Jack’s 4th trend simply says this: More creators are making more money each year than the last and so saturation (or demand) is not a growing issue or concern that should stop anyone from building the project, business, or community of their dreams.

The 5th trend that Jack shares is something that’s pretty obvious: The Creator Economy is International:

Jack shares quite a few numbers in this section but essentially the bottom-line is this: Patreon β€” and the larger creator economy β€” has seen astronomical growth over the last year and there’s no obvious end in sight.

Consequently, Jack and the team are focusing on bringing more currencies, translations, and internationalization of their platform to meet the rising demand of creators all over the world.

This might not be the most actionable trend for everyone but it is something for all of us to think through as we expand and grow our projects: How can we serve folks that are in our “target demographic” / “target customer” but who are not in the same timezone or who may not speak or share the same language? These are great problems to have for expanding communities!

Thanks Jack for everything that you do!

Patreon was a big part of our “origin story” when we were first putting YEN together (and the larger YENIVERSE); we used Patreon to help test-drive demand and pricing experiments as we got walked our way down the path of building out our new community-building platform.

And even then, nearly 3 years ago, the creator economy was healthy, vibrant, and we were introducing thousands of folks to a new way of doing life, helping our community members realize that they could build the project, community, and even business of their dreams if they had the right people around them!

And guess what? Our mission, like Jack and Patreon’s mission, hasn’t changed much since we started: We’re still democratizing community building and I’m still teaching everything that I know.

/end

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